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Coveney will decide ‘who gets what’ in new CAP package

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BY FRANCIS FARRAGHER

 THE ‘nuts and bolts’ of the CAP deal will only be worked out at national level over the course of the next six months, but Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, has warned that most farmers will be facing a reduction in their payments.

Although Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, has expressed his delight last week at getting the new deal agreed, the sharing out of the ‘Irish cake’ of €1.2 billion per year among 130,000 farmers – to be decided over the coming six to nine months – will be critical as regards farm income between now and 2019.

This week, Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune that regardless of how the talks evolved at national level over the coming months, it was almost certain that the majority of farmers would have to take a reduction in their single payment.

“One thing we do want to ensure is that our Pillar 2 payments especially in DAS (Disadvantages Areas Scheme) are not alone maintained but restored to their pre-cut levels. These payments are an absolute lifeline for the smaller West of Ireland farmers,” said Mr. Flynn.

Fianna Fáil Agricultural Spokesman, Éamon Ó Cuív, told the Farming Tribune that the single most important thing that should happen over the coming months was for ‘an honest and completely open debate’ to take place on the options that now were available.

“We must face up to issues here honestly and address the situation whereby the top 2% of farmers end up getting 12% of the payments. The flexibility is there to ensure that we get a far fairer redistribution of payments that will benefit the vast majority of Irish farmers,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He said that he wasn’t in favour of a clause limiting cuts to 30% across the board, as this meant a farmer on €200,000 worth of payments would end up still on a payment level of €140,000 per annum.

“We need to have a very factual appraisal in relation to looking at a maximum payment level of €650 per hectare and to the frontloading of payments for the first 50 hectares. This would have a positive impact on over 80% of Irish farms,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, who attended a day long IFA National Council meeting in Dublin on Tuesday dealing with the new CAP, said that there was no getting away from the fact that there was a serious payment reduction element to the new deal.

“Here in the West of Ireland we would strongly support the provision of a strong coupled element to the CAP for our farmers. Over recent weeks and months, we have all seen the huge sell-off of suckler cows while the ewe flock has also suffered a decline – if we don’t protect the farmers at the basic building block stage of the production cycle, then the whole industry will be under threat,” said Michael Flynn.

He said that he was also worried about increasing payment levels for non-productive farmers and added that this should be looked at in the context of the mid-term CAP review due in 2017.

“If the European taxpayers see a situation developing whereby they are subsidising ‘so called farmers’ who are producing nothing, then it could call into question the whole future of the CAP. The funds need to be targeted at the active producing farmers,” said Michael Flynn.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Farmers are advised to get early advice on 2023 Nitrates Derogation requirements

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Tighter limits in latest Nitrates Derogation requirements. Photo: Courtesy of Teagasc.

MORE intensively stocked farmers – the vast majority of them in the dairy sector – have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture to ‘engage as soon as possible’ with the Nitrates Derogation application process.

Charlie McConalogue also advised dairy farmers who previously did not avail of the derogation to consult with their agricultural advisors – given the new excretion rate bands applicable to dairy cows since January 1, 2023.

The Minister added that the Nitrates Derogation provided farmers with an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates without compromising water quality.

“The Nitrates Derogation is subject to certain strict conditions designed to protect the environment and meet the requirements of the Nitrates Directive.”

“All farmers have an important role to play in protecting our environment, particularly those farming more intensively.

“It is crucial that we protect and restore our waters as soon as possible to maintain the Nitrates Derogation at current levels into the future.

“Water quality is crucial to a healthy environment and farmers are keen to drive further improvements here,” said the Minister.

The Dept. of Agriculture has outlined the three bands applicable for dairy cows: 80kg N/cow; 92 kg N/cow; and 106 kg N/cow per year.  Previously, all dairy cows were considered equal in terms of a nutrient excretion rate at 89kg N/cow per year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway farmers to meet on crisis in sheep

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David Harney: Common sense has prevailed.
Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney

GALWAY sheep farmers will get the chance to vent their feelings on the prices and cost crisis facing the sector at a meeting in Tuam next week.

The meeting – hosted by Galway IFA – will take place in the Ard Rí House Hotel, Tuam, on Wednesday, February 8, starting at 8pm.

It follows a national meeting of sheep farmers in Athlone last month at which the problems facing the sector in terms of declining prices, rising costs and lack of Government aid were highlighted.

According to Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, information provided at the Athlone meeting by Teagasc specialists indicated a profitability level of only €7 per ewe for sheep farmers.

“This is absolutely flabbergasting. No member of society could work 24/7 and expect such a miserly return. Government support for the sheep industry is essential now in order to preserve the sector,” said Stephen Canavan.

Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney also stated that the recent government report into the wool industry had provided nothing to sheep farmers that would give confidence in the future.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ALL may not be as the Dept. of Agriculture is painting it in relation to the prevalence of BVD in herds, according to a North Galway farmer who has contacted the Farming Tribune.

The farmer, from the Caltra area, who has a herd of 25 sucklers with no recent buy-ins, said that in the past year he had to have three calves put down due to BVD.

He said that while the Department of Agriculture were trying to paint a picture of BVD almost being eliminated from the national herd, this wasn’t the reality on the ground.

“This just isn’t the case on my farm – I now of other farmers who have lost animals due to BVD,” the farmer stated.

He said that he wanted to put the record straight as regards claims from Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, who had claimed that Ireland was now close to achieving ‘the goal of BVD freedom’.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) was first recognised as a major disease problem in Irish herds when the first year of the BVD programme started.

According to the Minister for Agriculture, the incidence of the virus in tested animals stood at 0.66% while in 2022, this had dropped to 0.03%.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, said that while the overall national trend in the incidence of BVD was very encouraging, there could still be pockets of the disease in herds.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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